Zoosh Brings the First Threat to NFC

by on June 22nd, 2011

Naratte, a relatively new company, has broken new grounds in regards to near field communication (NFC). Zoosh, its new technology aims to bring the dreams of smart phones and tablets serving as payment method a reality. Instead of relying on the standard 2004 patented NFC chips, this innovation uses ultrasound to perform secure mobile transactions.

Drastically removing the barriers of having to incorporate NFC chips into both senders and receivers, the Zoosh can be added to any application or device through a simple software update. Moreover, unlike the standard NFC chips, which are expensive to manufacture and complicated to add to every day devices, the Zoosh will be comparatively more cost-effective for consumers and merchants alike.

For the even the simplest of tasks, Narette’s software performs like a normal NFC technology, whereby two devices are relatively close to each other and a transaction occurs in a matter of milliseconds. The difference is that while NFC chips have to be instructed to await response from one another, the Zoosh will order the devices to listen to any ultrasonic communications.

Co-founders Brett Paulson and Byron Alsberg explained that the reasons behind this brilliant new technological discovery were the unique backgrounds of its developing team, including employees experienced in acoustics, digital signal processing and wireless technologies from giants such as Apple, Google, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

Since its transmissions move directly between devices, the Zoosh can work offline, and perform perfectly in even the loudest of environments, and while the amount of data sent is very similar to that of NFC, the cost of upgrading a point-of-sale terminal is significantly lower than that of the regular chip-based NFC.

Some have pointed out that this new ultrasound based technology might become easy to hack, but as Paulson and Alsberg stressed, every Zoosh transaction will have a unique and perishable ID, ensuring that even if someone managed to capture a transmission, for all intents and purposes that capture will be useless. Moreover, the pair mentioned that the transmission distances will be regulated, making sure that anyone attempting to capture Zoosh transactions would have to be right beside the target consumer.

While it could seem as though Zoosh will rival Google Wallet and other NFC-based ideas, the real future will most probably involve Narette being bought by a giant, perhaps even Google itself, to ensure a strong front for the Google Wallet, making it the only software of its kind to bypass NFC chips completely.